Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hessler v. Crystal Lake Chrysler-Plymouth, Inc. case brief

Hessler v. Crystal Lake Chrysler-Plymouth, Inc. case brief summary
788 N.E.2d 405 (2003)

Plaintiff buyer sued defendant seller for breach of contract. The seller moved to dismiss the buyer's complaint under 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/2-619.1 (1998). The motion was granted. The buyer appealed. The appellate court reversed and remanded the cause for an evidentiary hearing. Following a bench trial, the Circuit Court of McHenry County (Illinois) entered judgment for the buyer and awarded him $ 29,853 in damages. The seller appealed.

The parties entered into a contract for the sale of a promotional vehicle. The contract provided that the buyer would pay $ 5,000 over the manufacturer's list price and that the deposit was refundable if the seller could not deliver by a certain date. The seller subsequently received one of the vehicles and refused to sell it to the buyer.


  • On appeal, the seller argued that the trial court erred in concluding that the delivery term "ASAP" was part of the contract, in interpreting the term, in finding that the seller breached the contract, and in calculating damages. 
  • The appellate court held that since the term "ASAP" was written contemporaneously with the execution of the contract by the seller's authorized agent the term was part of the contract. 
  • In addition, the trial court properly attributed the commonly recognized meaning to the term. 
  • The appellate court also held that the seller repudiated the agreement when it informed the buyer that it would not deliver to him the first of the promotional vehicles it received. 
  • The appellate court also affirmed the trial court's damages calculation under 810 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/2-712 (2000) since the buyer effected appropriate cover.

The trial court's judgment was affirmed.

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